The bookstore

What could be more romantic than volunteering in a second-hand book in china town? Its been a year and a couple of months and yours truly has been volunteering in my dream environment a bookstore full (like no lie) of books.

Books

Books

Books

It truly is a bookstore, a special one, claustrophobic, with the sweet sent of tobacco occasionally drifting in from groups of dark haired youths, the newly erected wall that blocks away the sunshine right outside the store, the Filipino bakery with its modern furniture contrasting heavily with the; fill a bag for 5 dollars trolley heavy with the shoddier copies of the books. When you walk into dove bookstore there is one thing you cant deny we sell books.

books

books

books

Thousands of books crammed into shelves, piles, hidden corners, teetering dangerously on the edge of somewhere, put on display, small books, big books, mediums books, weirdly shaped and difficult to shelve books. How did the books ever arrive on the shelves ? They were donated by various people as Dove bookshop is actually a charity for St. Christopher’s Anglican church so the funds acquired actually went into some good causes. Any way the people give the books and the people take (pay a reasonable price for) the books. When people donate their books you can tell what they were all about. You get a banana  box of cooking books, a banana box of mills and boons, a banana box of classics  and plenty banana boxes of whatever you could imagine going on in someone’s life. (You could tell if someone was married by the amounts of mills and boons in their banana box.)

banana boxes

banana boxes

banana boxes

Due to New Zealand’s demand and inability to grow bananas importers place their bananas in banana boxes. They are sturdy, cheap, large and  easy to acquire banana boxes. In these various banana boxes wheeled in or unfortunately carried into the book store came the books. Then came in the sorting which was Lady Di’s job she was absolutely fabulous she would take a mountain of books piled on the tiny table  at the back and transform it into neatly stacked and organised piles ready for pricing. Jan the manager would commence to determining the value of the books and all the sales, sections, organising stuff, boring but necessary managing stuff etc. Then came the volunteers like myself who shelved (painfully squashed) the books into their respective shelves and sections, served the customers, (ate caramel donuts) and did what we had to get the bookstore running.

Alas

Alas

Alas

All good things must come to an end the bookstore my low-key passion is finally at its end the lease is up, the rent too high and the last day is set to be 11th June 2016. Hopefully I can take you on a journey of the store and what it is (was) like. One can describe the bookstore as a crappy palace with duck taped carpet, strange smells, dusty books, too many books, lack of computerisation etc whatever it has (had) its issues but to me what could be more romantic than volunteering in a second-hand book in china town?

same story 2 different buildings

Just opposite a hotel that fell victim to the earth quake is reflected on the hotel’s window is the cathedral (and of course you can see me duck 97 in the midst of all this madness.)2 different buildings serving different purposes were grievously affected as well as the rest of Christchurch .it is a bit odd that these buildings are still here.